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Meet the Member Gracie Kinney
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Gracie Kinney is a barrel racer, goat tier and pole bender in the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association. Of her three events, the fourteen-year-old cowgirl, who lives in Ainsworth, Neb, loves barrel racing the most because “it comes easy to me,” she said.
Her barrel and pole horse is a thirteen-year-old bay roan gelding named Wheels, who is borrowed from her uncle. Wheels has won a few buckles for his rider, and she calls him a “big baby. He’s a lovable horse.”
For the goat tying, she rides Slim, a sorrel who is borrowed from her dad. He’s a very kind horse, she said, who loves to eat. “He likes a lot of sugar cubes,” she said.
Gracie is an eighth grade student at Ainsworth Public School, where she loves theater and art classes. Theater is special to her, because she gets to see her friends’ personalities unfold through acting. She likes art because she’s always enjoyed making and drawing things. In art class last year, students made pinch pop characters. This year, Gracie made a clay sculpture of two bulls. She was elected to student council this fall.
Her favorite food is her mom’s spaghetti, and she loves rocky road ice cream. Her favorite fruits are apples and bananas, and her favorite vegetables are broccoli (cooked) and cucumbers (plain or with dressing). She loves Milk Duds, and her beverage of choice is Crystal Bay flavored water.
Her favorite place to go is the Brown County fair in Johnstown because in the summer, she doesn’t get to see her friends very often and they all congregate there. She loves to watch the rodeo, too.
When she grows up, she’d like to be a forensic medical examiner. She loves mysteries, and she thinks that would be a part of the job she’d enjoy.
For fun, she likes to hang out with friends, going to volleyball, football and basketball games. Her favorite sport, after rodeo, is basketball, and she is a big fan of the Chicago Bulls.
The Kinney family has a pet cat, Haggard, who likes to escape outside but the family doesn’t like him to go out, because then he won’t come in. He’s a “cuddle bug,” Gracie said, who loves to sleep on their faces. “We get mad, but it’s so cute,” she said. They also have a mini Aussie, Merle, who loves to play fetch but won’t give up the ball, so it’s more like “keep away,” she said.
Gracie loves to listen to pop music (her favorite is Image Dragons), and country music (her favorites are Thomas Rhett and Luke Combs.)
She has competed at state finals the last two years, finishing last year in the top fifteen in in the poles and barrels.
She has a younger brother, Morgan, who is twelve years old and is into video games and sports. She is the daughter of Jayme Kinney and Trent Kinney.